Chapter 16. Audio and Video

There comes a point when every new Web designer wants more than mere text and pictures. Even spruced-up fonts and elegant page layouts don’t satisfy the design envy that many newcomers feel when they spot a site loaded with sounds and motion. It’s understandable: You want to use multimedia to trick out your pages with audio and video. In this chapter, you’ll learn how to do exactly that, and create Web pages with background music, animations, and even full-frame movies.

But before you go any further, take a moment to consider the pitfalls you’ll face. If you think of the most common examples of multimedia on the Web, you’re likely to come up with a long list of Web annoyances. These abuses include flashing banner ads, irritating background music, exasperating pop-ups, time-wasting intro pages, and bandwidth-sucking commercials. Occasionally, you’ll find a worthwhile movie promo or interactive game, but they’re far outnumbered by budget Web pages blurting out irritating jingles.

So before you jump on the multimedia bandwagon, it’s important to think about exactly what you want to accomplish. Are you planning to showcase your musical compositions or provide downloadable recordings of Junior’s first moments? If so, multimedia probably makes sense. But if you’re just looking for a way to dazzle surfers with an animated logo sequence, think twice. It’s probably not worth the considerable effort to design something that will only aggravate most of your visitors. ...

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